Speaking Your Truth: Do You Fear the Dark or Light?

Our Truths. The parts of our inner world we express through language to make manifest our needs, boundaries, and desires for others to see. To invite others to work powerfully with and through us. To provide the fundamental ingredients for fulfilling why we’re here as humans: to authentically connect and co-create with others.

Our Truths are kind of a big deal in this regard…you know, given their role in our purpose and ultimate health and well-being and all. I don’t like to be dramatic (of course I do), but our Truths are sort of life or living death for us. One would think if we were clever creatures, we’d leave no Truth unspoken.

Let’s take an awkward pause here. Just a moment of silence for all the unspoken Truths waving their hands at us, screaming, “See! She gets it!”

Don’t worry; you aren’t the only one being yelled at. Trust me.

In working with folks on speaking their truths, I’ve noticed a theme. It’s a perception that speaking their Truth is like walking out of the light into a dark cave. This metaphor can make sense and create clarity. But sometimes, things aren’t what they seem. And the “walking into the cave” metaphor doesn’t serve them as is. It needs some reshaping. Something like the tale below…see whether any parts resonate for you.

You stand with your Truth unspoken. It sears your hand, wanting to be shared. It freezes your hand, wanting to stay hidden. 

Are you in the light, illuminated and afraid to enter the cave’s darkness? Or is this an illusion? Are you really in a cave, immersed in darkness and afraid to exit towards the light?

You have a need you want met through another. A boundary you want honored by another. A possibility you want to exist with another.

You’re worried you won’t like what the Other will do if they know your Truth. You feel anticipatory fear, pain, and anger about outcomes that may or may not happen…suffering. You feel unsafe. You want to avoid the suffering that may come. You want to be protected. You want to feel safe.

You’re also uncertain about what the Other will do. You feel discomfort. You feel dis-ease from the unknowingness. You want the discomfort to end. The dis-ease to end. You want certainty.

As your hand burns and freezes with the Truth, you feel angst. It’s exhausting. You beg for the right answer. And parts of you begin to speak in response.

Your brain is eager and goes first. “You’re going into a dark cave,” it whispers. “Beware. Let’s think this through with our cleverness.”

“It’s safer in the light,” it whispers. “The Other can’t hurt you here. They can’t say no to your Truth or dishonor it. You don’t have to face the pain of rejection or the shame of their judgment. No suffering exists here. You’re protected. You’re safe from the Other here.”

“And you’re so very clever,” it whispers quickly, seeing that you’re listening. “You don’t need the Other for certainty. You already know. The Other won’t meet the need. Honor the boundary. Allow the possibility.” And as it whispers, your brain selects evidence to support the cleverness. So much cleverness all by yourself. Who needs the Other? 

“See, you have enough certainty,” it whispers. “You have enough knowing for some ease. See how good the certainty feels?”

Your heart is quieter, but brave. It interrupts.

“You’re in the dark cave, not the outside light,” it whispers. “In the dark, safety is an illusion. Here, you have only the stories your cleverness weaves. Your stories hurt you. They choose the outcome you didn’t want to hear from the Other. That you’re safe from the Other is of no significance. You aren’t safe from your cleverness. You suffer.” 

“In the light, you expand beyond your cleverness, allowing the possibility for the outcome you want to exist. You invite the Other in and learn whether they accept. They very well may. And if they don’t? It’s just information. You get to choose and own your response. The Other has no power over you. You’re safe.”

Your heart continues. “And in the dark, certainty is an illusion. You move through the dark not with certainty. You move blindly, hoping that as you step forward, you will avoid the suffering. No light guides your movement. You cannot know whether you’re moving away from the suffering or toward it. You cannot know whether you’ll move closer to that which you want or further away. You do not feel good.”

“In the light, you can see. The discomfort is gone because the uncertainty is gone. And here, your actions are based in knowingness. This feels good.”

And the heart quiets, and the brain restarts its whispers. They cycle back and forth, awaiting your decision.

You have a need you want met through another. A boundary you want honored by another. A possibility you want to exist with another.

An unspoken Truth.

Where do you stand and what do you fear?

Which whispers do you choose to listen to?

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